Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

PUMPKINFLOWERS by Matti Friedman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A haunting yet wry tale of young people at war, cursed by political forces beyond their control, that can stand alongside the best narrative nonfiction coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq."
Powerful account of youthful Israelis maturing, fighting, and dying at a forgotten Lebanon outpost. Read full book review >
ELIZABETH by John Guy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"One of the best biographies of Elizabeth ever."
The Whitbread Award-winning author delivers an outstanding biography of Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603). Read full book review >

WHITE SANDS by Geoff Dyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A mesmerizing compendium that reflects on time, place, and just what, exactly, we are doing here."
In a slender volume that contains multitudes, the award-winning critic and novelist details his travels in such far-flung places as Tahiti and the Arctic Circle. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 26, 2016

"Williams delivers a complex tale about a complex disease, and by sharing a narrative rich in detail, personalities, and New York scenes, she will ease the burdens of those immediately affected and inform others of progress in cancer research."
Who would have thought a book about being diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma could be exhilarating and entertaining? Read full book review >
FAR AND AWAY by Andrew Solomon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"Agile, informative, even revelatory pieces that, together, show us both the great variety of humanity and the interior of a gifted writer's heart."
A veteran journalist and travel writer collects pieces dating back to the late 1980s. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"A well-documented, brave, and useful overview."
A journey through the Middle East in the post-Arab Spring landscape. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"As fascinated as Snare with the portrait, Cumming has fashioned an absorbing mystery."
A true tale that demonstrates the power and seduction of art. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A captivating history of two men who dramatically changed their contemporaries' view of the past."
Daring adventurers unearth a buried civilization. Read full book review >
ORSON WELLES, VOLUME 3 by Simon Callow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"Welles rightly imagined that people would never stop writing about him after he died. Callow continues to set the standard in this increasingly crowded field."
Juicy, provocative latest installment in the comprehensive life of a self-destructive genius. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A sympathetic but also gimlet-eyed scholar's look at a towering physical and political presence who learned, to his sorrow, that good intentions were insufficient."
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society and the War on Poverty have had mixed but lingering results, mostly positive. Read full book review >
ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES by Rob Spillman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A richly detailed and always engaging memoir on artistic discovery."
The lively debut memoir by a Tin House magazine co-founding editor about growing up in West Berlin then returning as an adult to post-Soviet-era East Berlin to find artistic purpose.Read full book review >
LOUISA by Louisa Thomas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"An elegant, deeply perceptive portrait."
The "vivid and propulsive" life of the wife of statesman and president John Quincy Adams. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 5, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >